Parents Struggling with Advice

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Copey, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. Copey

    Copey New Member

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    Hello all,

    Trying to provide some solid guidance to our son and out of my league with the workings of the ROTC programs.

    Is it possible to achieve an AFROTC scholarship if one has not applied for the scholarship but enrolls in the program in their first semester at college?

    A little background:

    Our son is a senior in HS, and very interested in a military career (he has been involved in the Army JROTC program for the past 4 years). We have encouraged him to explore as many opportunities as possible and recently he has become very interested in a career in the AF, now he is struggling with the thoughts of a career in the Air Force or the Army. We are very supportive of any direction he wants to pursue.

    He has recently applied for the Army ROTC scholarship but unfortunately did not realize his interest in the AF until too late to apply for the AF scholarship. He was told at his AROTC interview that he is very well positioned for a possible scholarship in the 3rd board (he missed the first 2)

    Now I want to stress that in my opinion, a scholarship will not not determine his career goals. We will support him with or without a scholarship but we do believe that it is important for him to understand the consequences of his decisions as a scholarship would be really nice if it works out for him.

    We know there is absolutely no guarantees here but; if he were to get a scholarship offer from the Army and turns it down in hopes career in the AF, is it realistic, if he performs well, that he could get a scholarship offer from the AF after he has enrolled in the program?

    I know there are a ton of "ifs" but just curious about if and how it happens.

    Really appreciate any input you may have.
     
  2. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I'm moving this to the ROTC forum where you may be more likely to get an answer.
     
  3. ABF

    ABF Member

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    My advice... as a former soldier / AROTC grad myself, is he needs to follow his heart rather than the scholarship money. If he really wants to serve in the Air Force, the Army wouldn't be a good "substitution". They are WAY different branches of military! Really, the only thing similar between the two are the pay scales.

    I'd suggest he pursue AFROTC once he is on campus.
     
  4. Blondie1

    Blondie1 Member

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    I am aware of a student last year that missed the first two boards for AFROTC, and still ended up with a full scholarship to his #1 choice. So do not think it is too late to go ahead and start the process!! (He started around this time last year!)
     
  5. Non Ducor Duco

    Non Ducor Duco I am not led, I lead

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    It is too late actually if they haven't even started the process, you still have to complete the short, initial application in December for AFROTC in order to do anything at this point. If you have completed at least the initial step then yes, it is possible. I missed the 1st 2 boards and got a full scholarship to my number one choice.

    For AFROTC, it heavily depends on your major. No one knows what the future holds, but currently Army is still handing out in college scholarships and the AF has stopped. Last year my Det was able to pump out 2 IC scholarships per semester, and this was in difficult times. The ones that got them were all Tech majors with super high gpas. Now it's even harder to get one, our CO told us that there would be none for this fiscal year, which has been true so far. Things are different every year, but you should be straight with your DS, if he goes into AFROTC with the expectation that he will get a scholarship, he will be thoroughly miserable. What he really needs to decide is which service he most wants to go into and if he wants it badly enough to do that branch's ROTC program for 4 yrs without a scholarship (because remember, he doesn't have that AROTC scholarship yet and plenty of great candidates with "good chances" according to their interviewer don't get it).
     
  6. FlyingWildcatDad

    FlyingWildcatDad Member

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    +1 Non Ducor Duco. Also with AFROTC there is the SFT hurdle to deal with during sophomore year!
     
  7. Copey

    Copey New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback, sorta what I thought. Just want him go in with realistic expectations.

    Thanks again
     
  8. impulse224

    impulse224 Member

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    Yes there is a possibility to gain a scholarship while in your first year of AFROTC. The scholarships are limited due to budget cuts and VERY competitive. In most cases, scholarships are given to cadets who have technical majors with high GPA's and outstanding ACT, SAT scores.
     
  9. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    I have read all the replies. I think more detail is needed for OP to give good advice to her son.

    Everything in life is uncertain, but that relative uncertainty can be described in terms of %. The words "possibility", "limited", etc. are all so vague that decisions cannot be made based on those vague descriptors.

    1)What was the chance (%) that OP's son could have gotten an in-college Scholarship last year with a tech major and 3.5 GPA, vs non-tech at 3.5 gap? This year? What is the trend for next year and the year after, assuming we don't engage in a new war?

    2) If OP's son doesn't earn an in-college AFROTC scholarship, what is the chance OP's son can still qualify for SFT after sophomore year?

    I don't know the answers to those questions b/c I follow AROTC and NROTC more closely than AFROTC, but my gut tells me that the answer to 1a) is 5% for tech 0% for non-tech major, 1b) 0%, and 1c) between 0 and 5% for tech majors only. So essentially, it isn't so much a plan as a shot in the dark.

    Now as regards 2), I'm hoping somebody knows what % of non-scholarship AFROTC cadets qualified for SFT summer of 2012, summer of 2013, and what PMSs are saying about summer 2014. To me, this is the more relevant question b/c OP's son is more interested in a commission than a scholarship. What is the chance OP's son can earn a spot in SFT summer of 2015 without a scholarship? Is it 10% more like 50%? 75%?

    If the answer is 10%, OP's son might consider enlisting, or if he wants to be an officer, would he rather be an officer in the Army than enlisted in the AF? All tough questions, but let the chances of success help guide your thinking.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014
  10. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    For AFROTC, having a scholarship does not at all enter into the equation on whether a cadet receives a SFT slot. If your son never receives a scholarhip it will not hurt his chances of getting a commission, other then the money factor the scholarship means nothing in the commissioning process.
     
  11. impulse224

    impulse224 Member

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    Some of those questions are hard to answer because they change so much every year. There are so many variables that are put into whether or not you get a scholarship especially with current budget cuts. I'll try to answer those questions to the best of my ability, but keep in mind I'm a cadet and can only tell you what I've seen in my past few years in AFROTC.

    1) Getting a scholarship with a 3.5 tech major seems to be likely, at my DET every tech major in my year has a scholarship. There is only one non tech major that has a scholarship. Most of these scholarships were handed out during cadets first three semesters. (AS100 and first semester of AS200). Again keep in mind that the Air Force is undergoing massive budget cuts and scholarships over the past few years have been given out less and less.

    2) As far as SFT goes, this year is going to be VERY different from the previous two years. The last two years there was around a 80% - 90% selection rate whether you're tech or non tech. This year, from my understanding AFOQT scores are being taken into affect into the rack and stacking AND our regional commander has mentioned that there will be a lower selection rate this year due to the lower needs of the Air Force currently. We really can not see 2 or 3 years out because the needs of the Air Force fluctuate so much.

    The way I look at it, if you don't get selected for SFT and you still want to serve you have a few options. You can a) repeat your AS200 year, b) finish your schooling which you'd already be half way done with and try to go through OTS or c) enlist.
     
  12. barryg9999

    barryg9999 Member

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    You may want to talk with the AFROTC office in the colleges that your son is interested in. They can really guide you through this.
     

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